June 28, 2021 – Reasonable Doubt

Boy, I’m not sure what’s going on with my husband but his enthusiasm to move seems to be waning rapidly. We were so gung ho at first, running around like maniacs, trying to complete a bunch of stalled projects from the past several years. And now that nearly everything is done, we are sitting in this weird ‘space’, questioning the point of it all. I still feel pretty confident about our decision but my husband appears to be plagued with doubt. “What if the house doesn’t sell?” he keeps asking me, “What then?” To which I respond, “Then we stay.” The thing is, our house has only been on the market for two days. Two days isn’t much. What is worrying is that there was so much hype about how ‘hot’ the market was and how houses were ‘selling like hotcakes’ and how everyone (we’ve spoken to) was certain that our house would sell in no time and more than likely get bid up way beyond the asking price. That all sounds great but that’s not the current reality.

The current reality is that we made a pretty snap decision to move and then worked our tails off to get the house ready, and then put it on the market. And since it’s been ‘officially listed’, we’ve had a total of two showings. Yes, that’s right, I said ‘two’. What did I expect? Honestly, I thought the weekend would have been booked solid with showings but we had one yesterday and one today and that’s it. No one else has contacted our realtor to indicate they’d like to walk through our home. And the two parties that did walk through did not make an offer. I have to tell you, that really sucks. And it’s not at all what I expected or anticipated. I do understand that the stifling heatwave is probably playing a huge role in the current lack of interest in our home. It reached 110 degrees today, and tomorrow and the next day are supposed to be even hotter. Most people would rather stay home when it gets hot like this, and remain in their air-conditioned homes or splashing about in their outdoor pools (if they have either one).

Running around in the heat is no fun. Personally, it makes me rather irritable. And I’m already irritable as it is. I keep finding more and more things that I need to ‘fix’ and cannot seem to sit still for but a few minutes (usually from exhaustion). And being in this weird ‘limbo’ isn’t helping either. While I make every possible effort to ‘look on the bright side’, my husband keeps bringing up his assorted doubts about whether we’re making the right decision. Are they reasonable? I suppose they are to a degree. “We should have taken our time and put it on the market next spring, like I suggested,” he mentioned in passing today. That’s all well and good but the fact is, we didn’t. We put it on the market immediately because I/we wanted to take advantage of the ‘hot market’. A ‘hot market’ is great for a seller, but this current ‘hot market’ is a bit much. I wanted ‘hot’ not ‘heatwave hot’. When people get hot, they tend to want to do less, not more.

From what our realtor has told us, this heatwave is definitely impacting the real estate market. In essence, it’s all but shutting it down. Why is it that when we finally make up our minds to actually move, Mother Nature decides to pull a fast one? My husband thinks it’s a sign, a sign that maybe we should stay put. “Everything’s done now and we can just relax and enjoy the house. And I can ask for my job back. And if I need to help my Dad, I can just fly out and stay with him for extended lengths of time,” he told me earlier this afternoon. “Plus,” he then stated, “Have you noticed how everyone keeps asking why we’d want to leave our beautiful home? All of them have said if they had a house as nice as ours, they wouldn’t want to leave it.” When he starts up, I have to remind him of all of the reasons why selling our home now (if we even find an interested buyer) will work to our advantage, “If we sell during this ‘hot market’, we’ll be able to purchase another home outright from the proceeds and not have a mortgage payment.”

I then tell him that if we move, he’ll be near his parents if he’s needed, and we’ll also be near our youngest son. We’ll have more money to travel and do things we enjoy. There’s the incentive of returning to my former place of employment as well. If I were to do so, I just need to work for three months in order to get ‘vested’. We also have old friends there who we could get together with for dinners or game nights or what-have-you, which would be nice since we’re both so lonely here. “I know,” is how he usually responds, “But how often do you think they’ll actually want to meet up? They all have their own busy lives to live. It was great seeing everyone on vacation but you know it won’t be like that if we were to live there.” No, I realize we won’t necessarily have to ‘consult our calendars’ to determine if we have time each day to fit people in. That’s an unrealistic expectation. But I do think arranging to have dinner with friends once a month or every two months is perfectly reasonable.

Sigh. All I know, whether it’s reasonable or not, is that the doubt my husband is experiencing is starting to seep into my own brain. I keep looking around our home and admiring all of the work we’ve done. I browsed through old ‘before’ pictures of our house yesterday and couldn’t believe how much we’ve accomplished since the day we were handed the keys. At one point, the entire kitchen was gutted. There was even a gaping hole in the outer wall (which we covered with a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood) until we could put in a proper header, replace all of the wood which had been destroyed by dry rot, and then install a sliding door and two windows. My husband even replaced all of the subfloor after we took up the orange carpet and the two layers of linoleum beneath it, only to discover that the existing subfloor was also in a questionable state. Every room has been like that. We thought we could just do some ‘simple fixes’ and it wouldn’t take much more than that. Ha! Boy, were we mistaken!!

No, this house has been a labor of love. Seriously. We have labored and labored and labored. “You know that we’re never going to find anything else like it, certainly not for the price we paid,” my husband felt it necessary to remind me (yet again), “And if it doesn’t sell in the next two weeks, I want to pull the listing.” Two weeks?! “What’s the hurry?” I asked him, trying to understand the timeline as it didn’t make any sense to me. “If we don’t get out of here by mid-September, when you consider it’ll be another 6 weeks once we find a home ourselves, we’ll be moving in the winter…and I don’t want to move in the winter,” he explained. Ok, makes sense. I don’t enjoy moving when the ground is covered in snow either. It makes everything doubly difficult. We experienced that when we lived in upstate New York and I don’t want to go through that again if I don’t have to. Carrying a bunch of furniture and boxes through snow and ice and slush is something I wouldn’t encourage anyone to do.

And since I’m thinking about it, I just have to ask, are you confused by all of this? I certainly am. I have to be one of the most wishy-washy people I know and it figures that the one time I make up my mind to do something and really give it all I’ve got, my husband throws a wrench in the works. I suppose if he isn’t up to moving, I’ll have to find a way to make it work here (even though I’ve already tried for 7 years and have been unsuccessful). Of course, he did say he was willing to wait two more weeks before pulling the listing and even though there has been minimal interest since our listing went ‘live’, things might change once the blasted heatwave subsides (which is supposed to happen on Thursday). I’m just going to leave things in the hands of fate and whatever is meant to be, will be. Que sera, sera. I have learned in my life that there are some things I can control and some things I can’t. And as much as I’d like to move, if the house doesn’t sell, I guess I’ll just have to accept that this is where I’m meant to be (at least for the time being).

Alright, my friends, I’m falling asleep ‘at the wheel’ again so I probably should wrap this up. If you’re in the States and live on the east coast, try and stay dry. And if you live on the west coast, try and stay cool. And for the rest of you, as Stevie Wonder famously wrote, “Stay Gold.” Sorry, hope that wasn’t too lame. I’m too tired to come up with anything else at the moment.

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